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Ghana June 8, 2005
H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor
Office of the President
Republic of Ghana
Fax: (011.233.21) 66-40-89
The non-partisan Overseas Press Club of America (OPC), whose more than 600 hundred members have had extensive experience in international journalism, was deeply shocked to learn of the recent beating of a working journalist while covering a by-election in Aboabo-Adukrom, in the Ashanti region of Ghana .
It appears from a report by The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), that Emmanuel Duah , a reporter for the privately owned radio station, Happy-FM, was beaten with clubs and stones on April 21 while attempting to cover the by-election. We are informed that Mr. Duah’s assailants mistook him for a sympathizer of one of the two political parties contesting the election and beat him until he fell unconscious. We understand that he was taken to a hospital where he regained consciousness and was treated for his injuries.
We are writing to you about this case because of the reported failure of the national and local government in Ghana to maintain sufficient order near the voting polls to prevent this kind of occurrence. Ghana has subscribed to United Nations pledges to respect freedom of expression and of the press. This obligation includes responsibility to assure the safety of local journalists doing their jobs of reporting political events.
We urgently and respectfully request that your Government investigate the attack on Mr. Duah and punish those responsible for this despicable event.
Norman A. Schorr
Freedom of the Press Committee
Fritz Kwabena Poku
Ambassador of Ghana to the U.S.
Embassy of the Republic of Ghana
3512 International Drive, NW
Washington , DC 20008
Fax: (202) 686-4527
Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Ghana to the United Nations
19 East 47 th Street
New York , NY 10017
Fax: (212) 751-6743
Mary C. Yates
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana
Embassy of the United States of America
Ring Road East
Fax: (011.233.21) 77-60-08